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Elektra (12A)



Review by: Jack Foley | Rating: One

DVD SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted scenes, 'Elektra Incarnations' documentary, 'The Making Of Elektra' featurette, Trailers, Inside Look at 'The Fantastic Four'

HAVING been killed off in Ben Affleck's Daredevil, cinema fans might be wondering how on earth Elektra could have happened upon a franchise all of her own.

They may still be pondering that question come the end of the movie too, given the lack of life that permeates through Rob (X-Files/Reign of Fire) Bowman's disappointing movie.

Elektra isn't so much terrible, as a terrifice waste of potential - a film that promises much, but delivers very little.

That it comes from the Marvel stable merely adds to the overall feeling of being let down.

Having been resurrected by Terence Stamp's blind martial arts master, Stick, Elektra (Jennifer Garnder) exists as an assassin, detached from the world and desperate only to carry out her next job.

The movie opens with one such assassination (with Jason Isaacs being the unfortunate victim), before Elektra reluctantly agrees to take on another job - in this case, offing a single father and his daughter (in the form of ER's Goran Visnjic and Kirsten Prout).

For Elektra, however, the hit marks a watershed in her life and for no apparent reason she decides to act as a protector to the family, which subsequently places her on a collision path with The Hand, a powerful syndicate whose members practice the dark martial art of ninjitsu.

The Hand, it seems, want to use Visnjic's daughter for their own evil ends and dispatch young martial arts master, Kirigi (Will Yun Lee), and his super-powered colleagues to get her.

Yet so little in Elektra is properly explained that viewers will have trouble caring whether they succeed or not, as there's simply not enough back story or motivation to explain what is going on.

What's worse is that Elektra takes itself far too seriously with Garner content to pout her way through proceedings without ever looking as though she is enjoying herself (which is ridiculous, really, given the revealing nature of her combat outfit).

Prout, too, comes across as too precocious to root for, while Visnjic is given virtually nothing to do save for kissing Garner on a couple of occasions and running whenever possible.

The villains, too, are curiously muted, lacking any sort of charisma and, worse still, being discarded far too easily.

Hence, the likes of Tattoo (who derives his magical powers from the animals engraved on his skin) and Typhoid (who kills whatever she touches) are dealt with almost as quickly as they appear and are never allowed any time to develop into worthy adversaries.

The tone of the film also feels uneven given that it exists in dark territory, but feels as though it has been deliberately toned down to appeal to younger audiences.

While the lack of even a suitably rousing finale renders it a curiously flat experience.

Whether it will generate enough box office to provide Garner with her own franchise seems highly doubtful given its poor US performance; forcing one to ponder why anyone bothered in the first place.

 


 

 

 

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